Horses have been a central part of Husain's oeuvre since his first representation of the animal in 1951. They are usually depicted with tremendous sense of movement; strong creatures galloping with reared heads. His horses are not plastic forms treated to stylistic variations; rather, they are sensuous creatures that have become personal symbols resonating with archetypes.
"Husain's horses are subterranean creatures. Their nature is not intellectualized: it is rendered as sensation or as abstract movement, with a capacity to stir up vague premonitions and passions; in a mixture of ritualistic fear and exultant anguish." (R. Bartholomew and S. Kapur, Husain, New York, p. 43.)
The inspiration to paint horses was a combination of his trip to China where Husain studied Sung pottery horses and his interaction with the equestrian sculptures of the contemporary Italian artist Marino Marini. For Husain, horses are associated with life-sustaining forces, and it is primarily in this capacity that they appear in his works. They have become a "vehicle for multiple utterances - aggression, power and protection the brute strength of horses born and released from fabulous regions mutate into thunderbolt, energies, phallic and omnipotent." (R. Shahani, Let History Cut Across Me Without Me, New Delhi, 1993, p. 8.)